Alcohol. It plays such a huge part in the Australian lifestyle. Glass of wine over dinner. Having a beer whilst watching the footy. Going out for after work drinks... or even having them in the office. All major birthday's after the age of 18 are celebrated with alcohol... and lots of it. Any opportunity to open a bottle of wine or beer and we are all over it.
I use to be one of those people. Okay, I didn't drink wine with dinner at night as I would end up tipping away the wine as I would only drink it one night and then forget about it for the rest of the week. But then there were all the special occasions. All the birthday parties, engagement parties, weddings, Christmas parties, and of course the parties at friend's houses just because we could.
When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in the middle of the year, I decided to make a few changes in my life. Not only did I quit my job, but I also quit alcohol. I did it for a few reasons. The first reason being that alcohol and anxiety/depression do not mix well. Alcohol acts as a depressant, so it is recommended that you do not drink alcohol when you are depressed or anxious. Considering how low I was feeling at the time, I didn't want anything else in my life to make me feel worse.
I then started taking anti-depressants to help me get through my tough time (which I am still on - no judging please). The pamphlet that came with the medication did not state that I wasn't allowed to drink alcohol, however, me being me, I turned to Google. So many people who had been on the medication had commented about the serious side effects that they encountered when mixing the medication and alcohol. That was enough to turn me off drinking.
I will admit, I did find things a little difficult in the beginning. I didn't miss alcohol at all, but it was the conversations that I would have with people that I wasn't drinking. In the early stages I wasn't ready to tell people that I was on medication, but when you are a female, married and not drinking, people assume one thing. "Are you pregnant?" I was asked this question so many times. I would just turn around and say I was doing Dry July. After July I said I wasn't drinking because I was in training mode. It did however make me feel a little awkward.
So, I'm going to put it out there to the world. I don't drink because I haven't been too well and I'm on medication. And you know what else??? I feel super dooper fantastic now that I don't drink anymore! And here are my reasons why:
1. No More Hangovers!!
Oh yay!!! I don't wake up with a headache in the morning after spending the night out with friends, partying the night away. I may wake up and feel tired, but that is about it. It also means that I can jump out of bed and either go for a run or hit the gym, so I can continue to feel good.
2. No More Wasted Calories!
Alcohol contains a lot of calories. To be honest, I would rather consume 500 calories on chocolate any day over 500 calories of alcohol. I really do love my chocolate!
3. My Body Feels Good
I am pretty certain that my liver is very happy. I never had a drinking problem as such, but I am sure my liver is happy that it doesn't have to process alcohol anymore. My digestive system also feels good as sometimes alcohol would upset my IBS.
4. There Are No More Bad Photos Of Me!
Now that I don't drink alcohol, I can go out with my friends and not be scared of the camera. There will never, ever be another drunken photo of me. Just more beautiful photos. What more could I want!
So, when I come to your house for dinner or out for drinks, don't be offended if I ask for a glass of water or a Coke Zero. No, I am not pregnant! I am just looking after myself. And the same goes for any other women who asks for water instead of a glass of wine.